Boring but important
State Department to offer buyouts
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson moved ahead this week with an effort to dramatically shrink the size of the State Department, with plans to offer $25,000 buyouts to hundreds of diplomats and employees if they retire by April. Tillerson’s goal is to reduce the ranks of the State Department’s 25,000 full-time employees by 8 percent, which amounts to 1,982 people, by September 2018. Only 1,341 are expected to resign or retire by then, so the department will soon extend buyouts to the next 641 employees who agree to quit. Although Congress maintained the department’s funding levels this year, Tillerson has persisted in his efforts to cut the payroll, implementing a hiring freeze and refusing to fill many ambassadorships and other senior positions.